That’s what a $4 million project with three new “bump outs” adding 2,700 square feet to the library will do. The additions include interactive children’s and teens’ rooms, lower bookshelves, and more windows to open up the library. Large meeting spaces, along with smaller quiet rooms, are an attraction for community groups.
“Can we meet here Sept. 24?” said Yvonne Thoma-Patton, who is the executive director of the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce. She was trying to lock down the group’s next meeting during a sneak peek tour with some community members at the library last week. The library board also is planning to meet that day, so the room reservation isn’t settled, but Ms. Thoma-Patton knows the meeting room is desirable.
She is eager to show small businesses the possibilities of using the smaller meeting rooms and taking advantage of the library’s new technology. The meeting spaces have screens that can hook up with laptops to broadcast. Lisa Green, branch manager, also said it would be useful for Skype meetings or interviews.
The library, at Dustin and Coy roads, closed Aug. 11, 2014, for the expansion and renovation. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library System officials are expecting an early opening around the second week of September, though the library will not be functional with the new technology. A grand reopening celebration is planned for Oct. 15.
New technology includes several Mac computers, a 90-foot touch screen for the children’s space, tablets, 3D printer, and more. Ms. Green said the staff is being trained on the new gadgets, but will also be learning on the job.
Another addition will be a lobby that will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will have a movie rental machine, similar to Redbox only free, and a locker area where people can pick up requested books. Ms. Green said the feature is for third-shift workers who can’t come during operating hours. They can swipe their library card and pick up their rental from a secure locker.
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